Almanac Essay: Finish Lines

Below is a page from our May Almanac. I’ve found the idea of finish lines to be really helpful in my life, navigating how to view the ending of work on certain projects and how letting those things go helps me to enjoy leisure and family more. I hope these ideas bring good provision to your month.

It is good and healthy to recognize our need for finish lines. In the “go, go, go” life when we hit an ending point it’s good to catch our breath, and recognize the prize of our efforts. (One of my favorite writings on this comes from author Bill Hybels.) Here’s what I mean:

Your day has a finish line. Traditionally, for most people, when evening comes it’s time to take your mind off of the fields of vocation and turn it towards places of family, friends, and rest. There’s a moment in the evening when I myself try to put things away and enjoy the fruits of my efforts. That often looks like a dinner with my wife and my girls.

Every week has a finish line too. In religious traditions, it’s called a sabbath. It’s a whole week of work finding closure in a day off. This day off breaks up the week into a great rhythm. Without it it we’d be in the monotony of work and the lack of variation would mean a dissipation of joy (no matter how much you love your job!) And this day reminds you your vocation is not your full identity. You are more than what you do.

Lastly, every year should have a finish line. In traveling through the four seasons, it’s important to intentionally allocate time for vacation. Nothing refreshes the mind and restores the soul like unplugging from the everyday rhythms and leaving your city. These breaks can be expensive, but even on the tightest budget, getting out of town can do wonders.


May Theme and Poem: “Prize”

We have been choosing a theme every month for our Giants & Pilgrims “Almanac”. We’re hoping the pages we’re posting each around these themes enliven your season, enrich your days and bring focus to where you’re at in the month. It’s been doing that for Betony and I.

May’s theme is “prize”. For us, it always feels like May is a big push of business before the season of summer hits. It’s good to know what you’re racing for; keeping your mind on the prize… Here’s a poem fleshing out those ideas in broad, not-too-obvious ways.


May is a finish line

The last push for the work in the fields,
tired hands planting the final seeds

So the school year has closure
the wedding planning is about done

the spring season brings
projects to an end
and people look to summer traveling

Because go, go, go is best followed with


and a sense of completion,
a Voice that says job well done,
and permission to breathe deeply